The J.J. Abrams Star Trek films have deeply divided the Trek fan community for being both familiar and completely different than the original film.
In Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams brought back The Klingons, the most popular villains ever created for the franchise.
Created by screenwriter Gene L. Coon, they first appeared in the 1967 episode "Errand of Mercy". Because of budget constraints, it wasn't until season three that designer Matt Jeffries created the first Klingon ship.
One of the illustrators given the task of redesigning the iconic spaceship was Harald Belker.
Harald Belker is a professional concept artist and has worked on major films like Transformers (2007), TRON: Legacy (2010) and Iron Man (2008). Ramsey Avery, one of the Art Directors, knew Harald really well and invited him to join the team. Harald said it had many of his "top comrades working on it."
I interviewed him about designing some truly inspiring ships and the unintended consequences of the cost of Espresso. Check out the rest of the pictures after the jump and click to enlarge.
Q: What vehicle design did you work on for the film?
I was mainly hired to develop the Klingon ship, I was also let go at the point where it was written out of the script that we had any Klingon ships. [Editor: Since then, the Klingon ships were written back in.]
Q: You worked with Production Designer Scott Chambliss on this film. What's he like to work with?
Interesting. He is a designer who looks for inspiration online. Every week he would find something that we should incorporate. He doesn't have a classical design education so designing something new is not really in his vocabulary. He is a very nice guy, I just don't think he should do Sci-Fi.
Q: The designs are very original, but still captures the feel of the television design. What were the ship designs based on?
Scott had the idea of putting 3 towers together. I would have loved to design the most b***h'n Warbirds. I could not see 3 arbitrary towers moving in space, no directional orientation...
Q: What was it like working on the film?
I was on for three months, it was a great atmosphere working with everybody. We were all pretty focused and it wasn't the kind of Art Dept. where you were having extra time to goof off.
Funny was that the producer didn't want to spend the money on an Espresso machine, so five of us walked to the coffee shop every afternoon to get some fresh coffee. Five times an hour every day. Wonder what that adds up to? But you know those bean counters, they know better.
See more of Harald Belker portfolio at HaraldBelker.com
Make sure you check out Belker's explosive book: PULSE: the complete guide to future racing.
Description: "PULSE features Harald Belker's vision of the future of racing. There was a time when the fastest means of travel was a jet, but in 2035, private conglomerates have harnessed magnetic levitation (Mag-Lev) to create trains that get people from place to place to place in a fraction of the time.
"To advertise the cutting-edge technology and sheer speed of Mag-Lev, events were held with a handful of machines and fearless racers. Within a few years, PULSE Racing Grand Prix were hosted in major metropolitan areas with the funding of the cities.
"The world of Pulse racing is introduced and illustrated via elaborate drawings and digitally rendered futuristic vehicles while telling the story of an adventurous young man thrown into the whirlpool of an all encompassing and physically grueling sport. Through captivatingly sleek and futuristic images, the audience follows the racers to the limits of speed and power while they are barely on the ground. The sleds force their drivers to the edge of human endurance while keeping the racing fans on their feet in excitement and enthusiam. Tactics and rules make the outcome of the race a nail bitter until the end as you never know who will emerge victorious in this incredible world of futuristic racing."
Click on the links if you want to see more of Harald Belker's work and Star Trek Into Darkness.
When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organisation has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
Pioneering director J.J. Abrams delivers the explosive action thriller Star Trek Into Darkness, following on from the international box office success of Star Trek in 2009. Featuring a stellar cast including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Alice Eve, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Bruce Greenwood, Noel Clarke and Peter Weller.
Official Site: StarTrekMovie.com
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller
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